Sunday, July 31, 2016

2016 Japan Vacation, Day 9: Toya Lake and Onuma National Parks

Day 9 would be a day to explore a couple of Hokkaido's finest national parks.

We had slept in a Japanese-style tatami room. You cannot tell from the photo, but our room had a great view of Lake Toya.

After breakfast we walked outside to see the lake. It looked mysterious and beautiful as the island at the centre of the lake was shrouded with clouds.

We then took the Usuzan ropeway to the top of Mount Usu.

From the top, we had a nice view of Lake Toya, as well as the tall neighbouring mountain, Showa Shinzan.

From that point, we went on a hike to see Mount Usu's largest volcanic crater.

Here you can see steam emerging from the crater:

There were many steps to navigate, both up and down. Kai grumbled at times, especially as there were very few Pokémon up there. We didn't walk all the way to the end of the path as I figured we would have a very unhappy boy to deal with climbing the stairs on the way back.

My wife and I tried to enjoy the sights, here with beautiful hydrangea alongside the trail.

After we came down from the mountain, it was time to take a train to our next destination, Onuma National Park.

Onuma is the name of both the park as well as the largest lake there. After a quick lunch, we took a half hour boat ride to see Onuma Lake.

One of the interesting features of the lake are the hundreds of tiny islands that were formed from volcanic activity.

After the boat ride, my wife and I wanted to hike around to explore the park more. Somewhat surprisingly, Kai readily agreed. Apparently there was better cellular reception and more Pokémon at this park, plus Kai would be able to hatch a Pokémon egg by walking more so he was very motivated.

The trail we walked connected several of the small islands with bridges.

While we were walking, the sun came out for the first one since we were on Hokkaido.

When we completed the 2 mile hike, we treated ourselves to soft serve ice cream.

Hokkaido has interesting flavors of ice cream. As milk on the island is thought to be especially good, the vanilla ice cream is called Hokkaido Milk. Of course they have to have a flavor made with the renowned local melons. And another local favorite is found in Squid Ink ice cream.

Kai boldly went for Squid Ink while my wife and I each had melon. We were all happy with our choices.

After that we went to the hotel, relaxed for a little bit, and used the onsen bath before having dinner. We had a little issue with Kai being angry over limits with the iPad, but all in all we had a good day and we got to enjoy some of the natural beauty that Hokkaido is famous for.


  1. Sounds like a really good day! The scenery is just gorgeous! Love the photos! Glad you're having a good time!

    1. Yes, we got to see some gorgeous scenery. We were a bit disappointed that it was so cloudy, but I think it added a bit to the whole mystique of the places.

  2. That was a very scenic day. Plenty of exercise and a nice treat. I really like Hokkaido. I love the open country. I'll bet Kai had worked up an appetite from all the walking.

    1. Shiroi, I think you would enjoy living in Hokkaido. Toya reminds me just a little of Tahoe.

      We all worked up an appetite... we had dinner at the hotel that served very fancy dishes but with very small portions. Fortunately we had other snacks to fill us up afterward.


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